NSW

NSW Premier Kristina Keneally announced results of the apparent cancer cluster investigation in Hunter Valley to be out soon. Credit: Ninemsn

NSW Premier Kristina Keneally announced the results of the investigation into an apparent cancer cluster in the NSW Hunter Valley will be made available to the public.

Following the ABC's Four Corners program on Monday, which revealed a number of Upper Hunter Valley residents, had developed illnesses including respiratory diseases and cancer, Ms Keneally announced the investigation.

The program suggested a link between the illness and the nearby coal mines, but currently the evidence is not enough to confirm it.

Some school children were also said to have suffered from reduced lung capacity, according to local doctor.

Kerry Chant, NSW Chief Health Officer said she was unaware of the cancer cluster before the Monday's Four Corners program.

I can report the public health unit has made contact with the families involve is that cluster and an investigation is underway, she said.

The investigation includes the Department of Health collecting data on hospital admissions and self-reported health and lifestyle factors.

We're pulling together that into a comprehensive report and we have just got to update that report with issues around the brain cancer cluster, said Dr Chant.

The final report will be released publicly.

Dr Chant said, Some of the Hunter/New England area has got mines in it and others have got mining operations in it.

We will also compare (data) with the state average.

It will map differentials in health status and pull together that data in one place so that the community has access to that data.

Expert panel had also been set up to assess the air quality, said Dr Chant.

We'll be asking that panel to tell us about the next steps that we should take in investigating the concerns of the community.

It's complicated because people are exposed to air quality both indoors and outdoors, and there are other sources and factors and we will need to do a rigorous study in order to answer the community's questions.

Greenpeace has called for coal mining in Australia to be stopped.

Currently there are plans for a dozen new coal fired power plants on the books, a clear commitment by the government to dirty, dangerous coal in an era of clean, safe, renewable energy, said Dr Linda Selvey, CEO Greenpeace.

More importantly, the government should be providing all Australians with transparency around the true cost of coal.